ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild transformed their defensive unit before Monday's NHL trade deadline and the intent was clear the league's 29th ranked offense is going to get a boost from the back end.
In three separate trades since Friday, Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher moved three defensive players who had played a total of 1,186 games in a Wild sweater. In exchange for defense, Minnesota is hoping it received back players who can help turn defense into offense.
"We want to play a game where we execute well from the back end and deliver the puck up to our forwards as quick as possible," Wild coach Mike Yeo said Monday. "We're not looking for defensemen, necessarily, to get the puck and skate end-to-end, but what we are is a group that just makes a good first pass, executes well, gets the puck to our forwards as quick as possible. And I think that's how you force teams to deal with your speed the best.
"You look at how, when we're playing our best hockey, what are ...